Can Jonathon Jennings Continue a BC Lions Tradition on Saturday?
Since the start of this century, there has been a long-standing tradition that all but three of the BC Lions quarterbacks have taken part in and that is beating the Montreal Alouettes in Vancouver. The Als have come into BC Place 17 times since 2000 and walked off the field as losers 14 of those times. There is a lot of pressure going into the season opener for the 25-year-old Jonathon Jennings who looks to solidify his spot as the Lions quarterback going forward. There is a lot of talent behind him so the leash will start off short. This makes it critical for Jennings and the Lions to secure a win Saturday against Montreal as they have done so many times under the dome.
BC Lions Keys to the Game
Disrupt Drew Willy
In the Lions two pre-season games their defence managed to score three defensive touchdowns, two of which were fumble recoveries and the other a pick-six. It all starts with the Lions front seven, specifically, Odell Willis and offseason acquisition Davon Coleman. Odell Willis has been terrorizing quarterbacks in the CFL for a while now and with BC lining him up as an outside rusher, this will give Willy very little time in the pocket which will inevitably lead to mistakes. The Als were tied for 7th in sacks allowed last season so if the Lions defence can continue to force fumbles and get their offence good field position it will be an easy day for the offence.
Establish the Ground Game
With the new weapons the BC Lions have in their backfield it is critical to make the most of them early against this Als run defence. Last season the Alouettes allowed the most rush yards per game in the CFL. The Lions should be using a combination of the Jeremiah Johnson, Brandon Rutley, and Chris Rainey to be creating manageable second down situations for Jennings and the rest of the offence. Considering all the new weapons in the Lions backfield they should have a successful day on the ground.
Lions fans everywhere are hoping to forget Jennings 19 INT 2017 campaign and looking to see him return to his 2016 team MOP form. Jonathon Jennings has all the tools around him that he needs to succeed, a solid backfield who should be able to give him second and short, one of the best targets in the CFL in Manny Arceneaux and the deep threat of Bryan Burnham who is more than capable of making a circus catch. As mentioned before, it is vital for Jennings to start off this season with a win if he wants to keep the starting job. If the Alouettes walk into BC and pick up only their fourth win in the last 18 years the questions surrounding Jennings and his job security will be the tone to start off the Lions campaign.
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